At the end of June, Sarah was thrilled to be invited to talk at the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications’ (IMA) workshop, “Involving Employers in the Development of the Mathematical Sciences Curriculum”. The goal of the workshop was to review the various ways that employers can work with maths departments to develop curriculums which motivate and excite students whilst improving upon their employment opportunities. Sarah was delighted to talk about her role as a statistical consultant and the skills required for those looking to undertake a career in statistical consultancy, both in terms of technical/statistical know-how and the equally important wider skills including problem-solving, communication, time management, prioritisation and continuing professional development (CPD). The workshop, which was part of a wider Higher Education Teaching and Learning Series, was also supported by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), in collaboration with European Social Fund (ESF) Smart Specialisation.
The event featured short talks from members of academia and industry, followed by a panel session covering the following key questions.
- Do we need to move beyond asking employers for “skills” of graduate applicants to employers and University staff co-designing modules?
- How do we make sure students with academic interests in for example: pure maths or theoretical physics, have the skills that employers want?
- What is the role of the library/careers service in teaching employability skills and how do we get the students to engage?
Speaker presentations are to be made available on GitHub and will be accessible via the following link: https://github.com/cmcneile/EmployMaths. Further resources on the topic can also be found in the this booklet: “Employability development for HE mathematics and statistics: case studies of successful practice”; and via the Sigma Network’s Employability Special Interest Group (SIG).
Speaking about the event, Sarah commented that, “it was a great opportunity to engage with educators and to contribute to the conversation on how to support students’ preparedness for a successful career after undertaking Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at University.”